Does Matthew 16:27,28 Prove Covenant Eschatology?

Does Matthew 16:27,28 Prove Covenant Eschatology?


Jesus states to His disciples in Matthew 16:24-28: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Covenant eschatologists affirm that the judgment (which they falsely claim is Jesus’ “coming” judgment on Jerusalem in A.D. 70) would come before some of the disciples standing in the presence of Jesus would die. This is not what the text affirms though! The text is affirming two comings. When a person studies the New Testament, he will discover that there are several different “comings” of Jesus. One refers to the literal second coming of Jesus (study Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 9:28; etc.); and the other refers to a figurative or representative “coming” of Jesus (compare the figurative use of Jesus’ “coming”: 1. to the apostles through the Holy Spirit in John 14:18; 15:26; 2. to destroy the Jewish system in A.D. 70 in Matthew 10:23; 24:1-3, 15-28; Luke 21:20-28; 3. to remove unfaithful churches of Christ in Revelation 2:5, 16; 3:3; etc.).

The Matthew 16:27 “coming” in this passage refers to the literal coming of Jesus when He gathers the whole world together and judges each in righteousness (Acts 17:30) [because that is when a person will lose his/her soul for all eternity in eternal ruin (Mark 8:35-38)].

The Matthew 16:28 “coming” refers to the representative coming of Jesus through the Holy Spirit after Jesus received the kingdom from His Father when He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9-11). He told the apostles, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” (John 14:18; 15:26). That “coming” was on Pentecost at the establishment of the kingdom of the Son of God (Matthew 16:18-19, 28; Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27; Acts 1:8; Colossians 1:13). The Holy Spirit, the church/kingdom and the reign of Christ “came” (around A.D. 30) before the “coming” judgment of Jesus against Jerusalem (A.D. 70).

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